AUTOMATED transmissions, more engine choices, and cab interior improvements are among the latest developments at Freightliner Trucks. Freightliner executives discussed the developments during a press conference at the 2004 Mid-America Trucking Show.
Eaton Fuller's UltraShift 10-speed transmission is available in the Century Class S/T and Columbia models. This heavy-duty, fully automated transmission is designed to improve efficiency and performance for on-highway fleet applications. The transmission is available immediately.
Although the UltraShift is fully automated, it has a manual mode that holds the current gear and allows the driver to control shifting, depending on preference or road conditions. Additionally, a “low” mode can be used in any gear for early downshifting, providing maximum engine braking.
The Columbia also gets a new instrument panel. The panel is designed to enhance reliability, increase serviceability, and offer better gauge readability to the driver. It became available as an option in the second quarter.
The new instrument panel uses LED backlighting, which is designed to last the life of the vehicle. Warning indicators for low oil pressure, high coolant temperature, low fuel level, and high transmission temperature help ensure quick response to problems.
The panel is engineered to interface easily with components connected and communicating on a standardized SAE Datalink network. Additionally, the panel is backward-compatible with existing vehicles, making it capable of being retrofitted in older-model trucks.
The Business Class M2 112V also got a new wing dash option, which will be available this summer. The new wing dash offers enhanced ergonomics and extra space for additional gauges and switches.
Particularly beneficial to the vocational truck operator, the wing dash brings controls and gauges closer to the driver. The dash also incorporates the Driver Information Module from the standard Business Class M2 dash.
A new engine option for the Business Class M2 is the Cummins ISC diesel engine, which joins the component offerings in mid 2004. The six-cylinder, 8.3-liter engine has a horsepower range from 240 to 330 with a torque range up to 950 lb/ft.